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Ian Hudghton
Scottish National Party
Member of the European Parliament

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Press Releases
4 October
SNP/PLAID response to Mandelson EU grilling

'Plenty of spin, but can he deliver the substance?'- Hudghton

Following Peter Mandelson's appearance before a special Parliamentary Committee to assess his suitability as EU Trade Commissioner, Euro-MPs from the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru described the former New Labour Cabinet Minister's performance as more spin than substance.

Ian Hudghton MEP (SNP) said:

"This was always going to be a polished performance from someone who is famously skilled in PR and presentation. There was a lot of smooth talking and platitudes about making the world a better place but when it comes to getting on with the job, will Mr Mandelson really be able to deliver? He seemed to be trying to be all things to all people, to remain on everybody's good side.

There were some assurances about his independence and impartiality in his role as Commissioner, but many will have been surprised to hear him referring so blatantly to his political support for Tony Blair, presumably ongoing. Does this mean he intends to continue active involvement in New Labour? There was plenty of spin from Mr Mandelson today, but can he deliver the substance?"

Jill Evans MEP (Plaid Cymru) added:

"Whilst Mr Mandelson might get top marks for presentation, what really counts is being able to deliver on his promises, and Mr Mandelson now has to face some major challenges. 

Many of us are concerned about the creeping privatisation of the public sector and Mr Mandelson got a question on just this point. He had every opportunity to give a clear answer but instead said he was in favour of what he called 'diversity of supply in the public sector' - hardly the clear cut pledge to keeping health and education public that we could have expected. Mr Mandelson can talk the talk but can he walk the walk?"

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